The Orioles have outrighted three hurlers – David Hess, Branden Kline and Kohl Stewart – as well as infielder/outfielder Andrew Velazquez to Triple-A Norfolk, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com was among those to report. The right-handed Hess is now a free agent, per Kubatko. Kline and Stewart have also elected free agency, the team announced.
Hess, an Oriole since they chose him in the 2014 draft, reached the majors in 2018 and wound up combining for 183 1/3 big league innings between then and the next season. However, Hess struggled to a 5.84 ERA/6.44 FIP with 6.97 K/9, 3.29 BB/9 and a paltry 33.7 percent groundball rate during that 44-appearance, 33-start span. Hess was barely a factor for this year’s Orioles, with whom he tossed seven innings of five-run ball.
The hard-throwing, right-handed Kline was a second-rounder of the Orioles in 2012, though he has only logged 46 innings and a 5.48 ERA/5.47 FIP in the bigs so far.
Stewart, the fourth overall pick of the Twins in 2013, saw his time in Minnesota slowed by injuries. The righty did combine for 62 innings of 4.79 ERA/4.80 FIP pitching as a Twin from 2018-19, but he struck out fewer than five batters per nine along the way. Stewart signed with the O’s last winter, though the Type 1 diabetic opted out of pitching in 2020 because of concerns over the coronavirus.
Velazquez, the lone position player in this group, became an Oriole when they claimed him from the Indians on waivers during the offseason. Although Velazquez did receive 77 plate appearances with Baltimore, he only mustered a .159/.274/.206 line and failed to hit a home run.
I actually like Kline. Think he could be a solid middle relief pitcher. I think someone will take a flier on him.
Kline has far and away the best chance out of that bunch to become a useful major leaguer. No real surprises here though. Hess has deserved this for a long time.
somebody (ie Pittsburgh) should have picked up Kohl.
Give the Pirates some time. They will. Any minimum salary player is a perfect for the Nutting Plan.
I am okay with Velazquez not hitting any homeruns this year.
I am not okay with his hard hit percentage and exit velocity this year.
kline to the giants!
That’s the four roster spots to fit in the players who would be rule five picks this winter.